|HO-3 Sparrow Scout Helicopter|
|Sparrow Helicopter scouting the water for Allied naval forces|
|Secondary Ability||Radar Pulse|
Reveals all stealthed units in a sizable radius
"So easy to pilot children can do it."
- - HO-3 official advertisement campaign.
- I can see my house from here: The Sparrow Scout Helicopter is a slightly modified civilian helicopter capable of scouting large areas of terrain very quickly. The speed of the Sparrow and its air mobility are its greatest assets, usually enabling it to scan areas in minutes when a fleet of Rangers will take hours. The Sparrow itself is so quiet it is virtually impossible to detect.
- I am too young to die: The Sparrow is equipped with a Weapon Jammer salvaged from hydrofoils. However due to the lack of power from the engine, the Scramblegun can only fire in short bursts, effectively only reducing the rate of fire of the target vehicle.
- PING!: The Sparrow also has an onboard radar that can send out short pulses, or pings as they are commonly called, that can expose hidden enemies in a sizable radius, though enemies can easily triangulate where the ping originated.
- Unqualified replacements: Experienced Sparrow pilots are usually transferred to Longbows and are replaced by more eager 17 year olds, which, unfortunately, have neither the experience nor the resources to customize their Sparrows.
According to some Confederates, the only good thing Canada has ever contributed to the current war is their helicopter design. No, not a combat helicopter - it's Canada, who are you kidding? Or so goes the Confederate joke, pointedly ignoring that nation's contributions to the Allied war effort, but the fact remains that Canada has remained scrupulously uninvolved in the Confederate rebellion, and has only indirectly contributed to the war effort. One of the early commercial successes of Infinity Realm Aeronautics, now known (and loathed) for their (in)famous Achilles air superiority fighter, was a small, lightweight helicopter designed for civilian and military use. The design featured excellent observation capabilities, could mount a small radar array, and, in an unintentional success, was amazingly quiet for a helicopter.
It was this last feature that attracted the aircraft's main buyer: the United States National Park Service. While the helicopter did serve for a time in the Allied war effort as the HO-3 Sparrow, mainly as a personal flying taxi for high-ranking officials rather than as the observation craft its designation proclaimed it to be, the National Park Service bought significant numbers of Sparrows for civilian use. The Sparrows were favoured by park rangers for aerial observation and reaching inaccessible areas of the parks, and later found great favour for air tours of the parks where their surprisingly quiet engines worked well for tourists and the wildlife alike.
Needless to say, the Sparrows have recently re-entered military service. The Confederacy's strength in rural and wilderness areas meant that acquiring large numbers of these light helicopters wasn't difficult, nor was finding experienced pilots to fly them. Further complicating this new development for the Allies is the fact that large numbers of Sparrows remain in civilian use - civilian news teams, a few large police stations, and especially the National Park Service itself all continue to use the Sparrow for precisely the same reasons as the Confederacy. Life is accordingly unpleasant for Allied fighter crews, who face the problem that it's almost impossible to distinguish rebel Sparrows from civilians, and more than one accidental downing of a civilian helicopter by Allied pilots and surface-to-air gunners jumpy about rebels has been spun into very ugly press indeed.
During actual rebel combat operations, however, it is easy to distinguish Confederate Sparrows. Weapon jammers stolen and salvaged from Allied hydrofoils have been fitted onto the Sparrow design, but work imperfectly: bereft of a hydrofoil's engine to power the things, helicopter-mounted jammers have to fire in uncontrolled pulses that shut down weapons in a small area of effect, but don't last long. The same lack of power prevents the Sparrows from granting complete radar coverage, and so they have to unleash limited radar pulses instead... and inconveniently reveal the helicopter's location to the enemy.
On many occasions, it has been proven that even young children can fly the Sparrow; despite this, rebel commanders refuse to allow those under 17 to fly them in combat situations, no matter how much they beg. However, there are still a large number of older teenagers who take the controls for these aircraft and they are considered the first step to being promoted to flying a Longbow.